Posts Tagged ‘economy’

11th December
2014
written by Sean Noble

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The Arizona Republic published a piece I wrote about the Arizona Governor’s race.  Here it is in it’s entirety:

 

Doug Ducey is a blueprint for the GOP

Sean Noble, AZ I See It

 

Sean Noble: Doug Ducey stood FOR something, and voters responded to his agenda.

 

Plenty of those taking office in January got there simply by not being a Democrat in a Republican year. If the GOP is to prevail in 2016, they’ll need more.

 

Doug Ducey’s successful gubernatorial campaign in Arizona provides the blueprint for Republicans going forward.

 

When conservatives pine for “the next Ronald Reagan,” they are really talking about leadership. They want someone who articulates a vision, who can build a broad, diverse coalition, and who fights for conservative principles rather than conservative politics.

 

Arizona has found such a leader in former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey, an energetic, optimistic businessman who was fond of saying, “I built a business, now I want to shrink a government and grow an economy.” Ducey is a man of action; he’ll do what he says he’ll do.

 

And what is that? He’ll make changes to education funding so that more dollars make it to the classroom, rather than bloated administrations.

 

He’ll reduce the waiting lists for high-performing schools so that low-income kids can have access to the best education possible.

He’ll end the practice of government picking winners and losers and lower individual and corporate income taxes so that Arizona attracts new business.

 

And he’ll provide leadership that all Arizonans — and conservatives — can be proud of.

 

Doug Ducey stood for something; voters cast their ballots in support of his agenda rather than against the Democratic agenda. Ducey ran an effective campaign by building a broad coalition, staying on message and clearly articulating a platform of opportunity, which resonated with Arizonans.

 

American Encore commissioned Kellyanne Conway of the Polling Company, Inc. and Women Trend to conduct a post-election poll. Conway’s findings show Ducey won big on substance.

 

Education was a clear priority for voters (35 percent), with the economy next (32 percent) followed by border security (13 percent) and health care/”Obamacare” (12 percent).

 

When it came to education, 65 percent of women and 62 percent of men said it was important to their vote that Ducey supported scholarship programs to give low-income children access to high-performing schools.

 

By making it clear that education mattered to him and delivering a strong message of support for school choice, Ducey neutralized Fred DuVal’s negative messaging that Ducey didn’t care about education. This among other factors led to a remarkable result: Ducey beat DuVal among women.

 

The Democratic “war on women” playbook just fell flat with voters. When asked about the most important issues in casting their vote for governor, 1 percent cited women’s issues and another 1 percent cited abortion.

 

In fact, Fred DuVal is the first Democratic candidate to fumble the abortion issue. He took the extreme position that parents should not have to consent in order for their 14 year-old daughter to get an abortion. Fifty-nine percent of voters cited that position as important to their vote.

 

Other typical liberal rhetoric like class warfare and climate change failed to move Arizona voters. Only 1 percent of voters cited income inequality as important, and less than 1 percent cited climate change.

Oh, and for all the media squawking about “dark money”? Exactly one respondent out of 500 thought it important.

 

Doug Ducey attracted a broad range of support. In addition to winning among women, he won 24 percent of the Hispanic vote and only slightly trailed DuVal among young voters, while enjoying a 25-point advantage with 45- to 54-year-olds and leading big among those 55 and older.

 

Of course, the national environment had some impact on the race: Only 37 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of President Barack Obama, and 57 percent had an unfavorable opinion.

 

But the environment doesn’t explain the 12-point margin of victory for Ducey. On Election Day, Ducey enjoyed a 50 vs. 31 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, compared with DuVal at 38 vs. 35 percent favorable/unfavorable rating. That had a huge impact on late deciding voters — of which there were more than usual. A whopping 23 percent made up their mind in the last two weeks of the election.

 

The late Steve Shadegg, one of the premiere election experts in modern history, said that, ultimately, elections come down to whom you can trust. If you explain your positions eloquently and honestly, as Doug Ducey did, people will trust you — even if they don’t agree with you on every issue. Ducey provided Republicans with the perfect campaign blueprint; next, he’ll show them how to govern.

 

Sean Noble is the president of American Encore.

5th May
2013
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With everything from the Kentucky Derby, to Cinco de Mayo, to the next tweet from Lindsay Lohan, keeping up on the economy takes focus. We’re so distracted by a plethora of side issues that it’s hard to focus on the real ones. Like the talking dog from the movie “Up” we can…

“Squirrel!”

…get distracted.  Allow me to pull you back to reality where we’re dealing with defective policies, excessive unemployment, and a stagnant economy.

Back in 2009, the Obama Administration predicted that today’s unemployment rate would be just over 5%. The president said his plan would save or create millions of jobs by increasing spending to the tune of $831 billion. That “stimulus” plan, with its shovel-ready jobs, failed miserably and became the laughing stock of his first term.

On Friday, the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 165,000 jobs in the month of April, while unemployment dropped slightly to 7.5%. The private sector added 186,000 new jobs, while government jobs decreased by 11,000. On the surface – and according to the media – this seems to somewhat resemble the “recovery” Obama described. They want us to believe this “recovery” has been consistent, the economy is growing, and unemployment is declining steadily – which is not the case.

Let’s look beyond the numbers, starting with this four-year low 7.5% unemployment rate. To be completely clear, the employment rate didn’t fall because of any uptick in hiring. Instead, it fell because frustrated Americans gave up looking for work. The number of Americans in the labor force has dropped to a record 63.3%.  How does that 7.5% sound now?

Seemingly, this administration lacks the capacity to perform the task at hand. They still hope for recovery, but continue to pursue and implement bad policies. The economy should be number one, two, and three on the list of tasks for this administration. Instead, they’re focused on taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, giving morning-after pills to children, and pretending – again – that they’re going to close Guantanamo.

We’ve blinked and lost focus on the critical issues.

“Squirrel!”

The “spring swoon” is in effect and we’ve got to pay attention. We can blame our distractions on the media for its lack of proper reporting, but what about the president? He has no excuse for his negligence and utter disregard for the real issues. Eyes front, Mr. President!

11th April
2013
written by Sean Noble

Sequestration, North Korea threatening to start a nuke fest, a budget passed 92 days late…and last night The White House partied like it was “1999.” Since 1978, the Memphis Soul performance at the White House has showcased America’s finest talent and this year’s event surely did not disappoint.

Let’s face the facts – the era of prosperity and scenes of lavish parties thrown by the Reagans, Clintons and Bushes trumpeted prosperous economic times. Now, times have changed for millions of Americans—instead of Memphis Soul, the night should have been called the “Washington Blues”.

Our “Party President” lives in a fantasy world; his empathy is selective and his actions are suspect. Cutting border patrols, White House tours and other government programs, Obama then spends millions of taxpayer dollars on parties and vacations.

Sure, Obama is giving back five percent of his salary to the treasury – a whopping $20,000—to show his “sacrifice” to a nation that is already trillions of dollars of debt.  But even Obama needs a vacation from his weekends of golf on the taxpayer’s dime, right?

The President should be ashamed after Tuesday night’s extravagant display. While the likes of Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper crooned, the only thing missing was Prince on stage alongside the other musical glitterati. If the president wants to party like it’s 1999 he should get the unemployment rate to what it was in 1999– 4.1%.

His scripted speeches on the teleprompter, claim that he knows Americans are hurting, but his actions and off-the-cuff remarks  make it clear, Barack Obama doesn’t have a clue about the average taxpayer’s daily struggles.   Barack, the music stopped playing a long time a ago, you’re the only one dancing. The party’s over.

27th February
2013
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wailing and gnashing of teeth that has been coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue about the sequester would make you believe that the Mayan calendar ends on Friday, March 28. Obama is playing politics with the sequester and manufacturing a crisis.

President Obama says that meat inspectors are going to be laid off, that lines will be longer at the airport because of cuts to TSA, that special needs children will go without essential services, that teachers will get laid off and that our economy will go into deeper decline.

If that were really true, any real leader would work to avoid such catastrophe.

But we don’t have a real leader in the White House.  We have a fear-mongerer.  Here is the Commander-in-chief of the greatest nation on earth scaring people about spending “cuts.”

I put cuts in quotes because the sequester doesn’t actually cut spending at all.  It merely reduces the rate of growth, by a devastating 3%!

Obama has repeatedly said that he is serious about spending cuts, but the very prospect of a miniscule reduction in the rate of growth has him running around like Chicken Little.  That’s not serious.

And, ultimately, neither is the sequester.

15th July
2012
written by Sean Noble

President Barack Obama spoke at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday.  It was a long and typical speech, but he wandered into some territory I haven’t heard from him before.

We know that he views the economy differently than most Americans – he clearly separates the private sector with the public sector.  He truly believes that more government spending to hire more government workers is actually economic growth.

And this speech offers a little more insight into Obama’s outlook.  The most stunning line was this: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

So for all of those hard-working folks who created a business, you really didn’t do anything.

Here is the section of the speech:

     There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

His notions of the economy would be funny, if the consequences of him winning a second term weren’t so dire.

22nd November
2011
written by Sean Noble

The brilliant minds among the “Occupiers” have decided that given that the “99%” deserve to have their voice heard, they should either occupy or boycott major retailers on “Black Friday.”

So let me see if I understand this… they oppose the “1%” and they think the way to “stick it to the man” is to boycott retailers, who, by the way, employ millions of Americans who are part of the “99%” and if they cut into the sales of said retailers, well, that will make a statement!

Yeah, a statement of stupidity, the first thing that happens when retailers are less profitable is that they cut overhead, that is, lay people off.

Keep it up “occupiers,” eventually you’ll only have 1% of support among the American people.

20th April
2009
written by Sean Noble

There was nothing surprising to me from the front page story in Sunday’s Arizona Republic about how Americans are less focused on the environment in our economic recession.

Facing the worst recession in generations, Americans said the environment ranked low on the list of concerns. A survey taken in Phoenix found two-thirds of those asked said they cared less about the planet this year than last. For the first time in 25 years, people told Gallup they would sacrifice environmental protection for economic growth…

What pollsters asked this year were the same basic questions they always ask: What issues concern you most? This year, the environment slid precipitously while the economy, health care, jobs, crime and education grew in importance. In one survey, concern about jobs gained 21 percentage points, while concern about the environment fell by 15 points. A year ago, environment ranked 10th on the overall list of concerns; by January, it had fallen to 16th.

A second question rattled the poll takers a little more. For the first time in a quarter century of asking, Americans told Gallup that economic growth should take priority, even if it comes at the expense of the environment. Until this year, the poll found people willing to pay to protect the planet.

It’s always easier to “be green” when times are good economically.  When people are much more cost-conscious the environment tends to take a back seat.  That concerns environmental activists because there is less focus on their cause.  However, what environmental activists fear even more is that tough economic times expose the truth about the costs of “being green.”

We always hear from the green activists that it doesn’t cost more to be green, or that being green will promote economic activity, etc.  Obviously, that’s not true – hybrids are more expensive than conventional cars and solar or wind energy are astronomically more expensive than coal or natural gas. If we were to live and our economy were to function the way environmental activists have been preaching for the last two decades we would be in a permanent depression.

The bottom line is that people do think green – at least the shade of green that is money.